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Apple v. Samsung Jurors Speak, Skipped Prior Art For "Bogging Us Down" 506

Posted by timothy
from the that-stuff'll-just-get-in-the-way dept.
eldavojohn writes "PJ over at Groklaw has consolidated some of the more interesting juror comments made following the landmark $1 billion settlement. Apparently the foreman (a patent holder himself) took the jury through the process of how patents work and thus allowed them to return so quickly with a verdict without need of any instructions on how to work through all the material. Most sources are incredulous that all of the information was considered in the process. CNET quotes a juror as saying 'After we debated that first patent — what was prior art — because we had a hard time believing there was no prior art, that there wasn't something out there before Apple. In fact we skipped that one so we could go on faster. It was bogging us down.' While the fact that they they voted one way on infringement and another way on invalidity shows they were at least consistent, Groklaw is reporting on some odd inconsistencies in the aftermath of accounts from jurors. The appeal for something this huge goes without question but the accounts collected at Groklaw make this verdict and verdict process sound hasty, ambiguous and probably the result of one man's (the foreman's) personal opinion of patents."
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Apple v. Samsung Jurors Speak, Skipped Prior Art For "Bogging Us Down"

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26, 2012 @09:42AM (#41129111)

    and the rest of the jury just followed along like lemmings. The foreman fancied himself an expert on patents, what with his vast experience of having secured 1 patent

    What a disgrace. Unfortunately rule 606(b) [cornell.edu] of the Federal evidence code precludes using the jurors' statements in an appeal. So they can prance and prattle like jackasses, but there's not much to do about it

    Did the juror text this info to the reporter with "send from my iPhone" at the bottom?

  • by Zocalo (252965) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @09:48AM (#41129145) Homepage
    He's an electrical engineer. Here's his patent at the USPTO. [uspto.gov]
  • Re:phew (Score:5, Informative)

    by bmo (77928) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @09:54AM (#41129179)

    >Since the site is fairly anti-apple,

    PJ was pretty much rabidly pro-Apple in her assessment of Apple vs. Psystar. So much so you got called a troll if you didn't agree.

    So i'd say that your assessment of Groklaw is wrong.

    --
    BMO

  • by sribe (304414) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @10:06AM (#41129247)

    Appeal approved!

    Of course, if they had actually ignored the prior art. Forget the spin in the post, and actually read the quote, carefully this time, and explain exactly how you conclude that they did not consider prior art.

  • by Shavano (2541114) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @10:11AM (#41129277)
    The way I read it is that they skipped evaluating one particular patent because they thought it was probably invalid because of prior art and didn't think it was worth their time even considering that patent, so they went on to considering other patents where they could understand the claims and the prior art situation better. I didn't see a blanket statement that they ignored prior art.
  • by Carewolf (581105) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @10:12AM (#41129283) Homepage

    Groklaw might be emotionally committed sometimes, but they are still emphasising facts, bring fact-corrections when they are wrong, and digs into actual legal document like no other journalists does, as long as they keep doing that they will continue to be a source of superior journalism on tech court cases.

  • by Sique (173459) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @10:13AM (#41129285) Homepage

    It's not going to America, the money will be sent to Apple. It's damages, not penalties.

  • Re:phew (Score:4, Informative)

    by DJRumpy (1345787) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @10:40AM (#41129479)

    This enforces the above. That they couldn't decide this one 'going down the list' and circled back later.

    http://www.cnet.com/2300-1_1-10013512-4.html [cnet.com]

    One of Apple's clean sweeps in the verdict was that all Samsung's smartphones were found to infringe on Apple's patent covering bounce-back. In short, this is what lets a user scroll beyond the edge of an image, Web page, or list, and have it bounce back onto the screen.

    "We were thinking Apple filed a patent for bounce-back, (and) that's where we got stuck...because (of) prior art," Ilagan said. He added that the group eventually found some of Samsung's prior art "significantly different" from the technology outlined in Apple's bounce-back patent.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26, 2012 @10:48AM (#41129523)

    You could try actually reading his post before jumping on his math he said per QUARTER. How long ago did the galaxy come out. I can tell you it was many QUARTERS ago they have probably sold well over 100million phones since they started "infringing" these patents which is why he said "less than ten bucks per phone, possibly way less" because he was implying an unknown multiplier based on length of time this has been going on. So yes they have come out way on top. Not to mention they will probably win in appeal.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26, 2012 @10:53AM (#41129571)

    Samsung's lawyers failed to do their job when he was selected as a juror.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:01AM (#41129647)

    Corporations being "persons" is a 500 - 600 year old doctrine of law. Back to the Maritime and before to about the time North America was even discovered. Investors stopped financing trade voyages because they would be 100% liable if the ship went down. They many times lost their homes, money and land to pay the families of those lost on the ship. The Corporation simply created a legal "person" to take on that liability and limit the investors losses to the amount they invest.

    It was nothing new created by the Supreme Court. Corporations are made of people. Yes they can be killed (aka Dissolved) and individuals within it can be personally liable for their actions.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:05AM (#41129679)
  • by Biff Stu (654099) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:05AM (#41129681)

    Sounds like the USPO.

  • by mpetch (692893) <mpetch@capp-sysware.com> on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:40AM (#41129891)
    If the jurors had read the courts instructions (which the foreman claimed they didn't need to) then it was about "damages". The court instructions made that clear "You should keep in mind that the damages you award are meant to compensate the patent holder and not to punish an infringer." The foreman told a court official that the verdict was arrived at without needing the court's instructions. However, the foreman had this to say after the trial "We wanted to make sure the message we sent was not just a slap on the wrist... We wanted to make sure it was sufficiently high to be painful, but not unreasonable." So I totally agree with you when you say this was about damages and not penalties from the judge's perspective. I would say that wasn't the case from the juries perspective. To me Hogan's statement suggests that the award itself WAS punishment. I don't know how else to read his comment.
  • by aaron552 (1621603) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @12:27PM (#41130231) Homepage
    I thought the "pinch to zoom" patent was actually a lot more specific than that: it referred to continuing a multi-touch gesture after releasing and replacing one of the points involved within a certain duration. This was not in the "prior art" shown.
  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @12:30PM (#41130233)

    "[Hogan] the jury foreman, who is a patent holder himself told court officials that the jury didn't need the answer to its question to reach a verdict"

    "The foreman told a court representative that the jurors had reached a decision without needing the instructions. "

    "Hogan holds patents, so he took us through his experience. After that it was easier. "

    "In fact we skipped that one," Ilagan continued, "so we could go on faster. It was bogging us down." ...But we took our time. We didn't rush.

"'Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis 'tis true." -- Poloniouius, in Willie the Shake's _Hamlet, Prince of Darkness_

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